Posts from the ‘Libations’ Category

Women Don’t Perspire, They Glisten

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.”- Frank Sinatra

While my food intake is hampering my usual alcohol consumption, I am still enjoying a good cocktail or two, instead of four or five. There is only so much room in this belly.

When in NEPA I heed Yuengling Lager, but I still crave a refreshing cocktail, particularly with gin. Not everybody likes gin. Not everyone drinks spirits in general, but I decided on a gin-based drink for my bridal shower. There were doubts. Which makes the success of the drink that much more satisfying. I love getting someone to try something they have never tried, or think they don’t like. They may have had it prepared badly, or just hold an unjustified dislike for something that has never crossed their lips. Enter The Leland Palmer.

The Leland Palmer

from Bon Appetit

Inspiration for the creation of a new cocktail comes from unexpected places. Take the Leland Palmer by Damon Boelte, bar manager at Prime Meats in Brooklyn, for example. “I was in Los Angeles visiting my girlfriend, enjoying my favorite hangover drink, the Arnold Palmer, and watching an episode of Twin Peaks, where Leland Palmer almost whacks Agent Cooper with a golf club. Sometimes things just make sense,” says Boelte. For his adult version of the popular drink that’s half lemonade and half iced tea, Boelte combines gin, jasmine tea, limoncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice in a pitcher. It’s summer’s essential back-porch sipper, and, Boelte adds, “It’s definitely much better than a golf club to the head.”
Makes 6

Text by Andrew Knowlton and Damon Boelte

Photograph by Nigel Cox

June 2010


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 cups freshly brewed jasmine tea, cooled
  • 3/4 cup gin
  • 3/4 cup limoncello*
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup chilled club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • 6 lemon slices (for garnish)
  • *Limoncello, a lemon-flavored liqueur, can be found at many supermarkets, at Trader Joe’s markets, and at liquor stores.


  • Stir honey and 1/2 cup hot water in small bowl until honey dissolves. Cool completely.
  • Combine honey water, jasmine tea, gin, limoncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice in large pitcher. Add club soda and stir to blend.
  • Fill six 1-pint mason jars or 6 tall glasses with ice cubes. Divide tea mixture among jars; top each with lemon slice.
I got this next recipe from a nifty little quarterly: Pennsylvania’s Official Wine and Spirits. They are free at all state liquor stores. They always have great food and drink recipes. I thought this one would be apropos to my existence here in sweat valley.

How cute are these cinder block sugar cubes?

Women Don’t perspire, They Glisten
from Tom Pittakas, Fort Washington
serves 1
8 basil leaves
1 sugar cube
2 thin slices jalapeno
2 oz. silver tequila
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. orange liqueur
3/4 oz. agave nectar
basil, for garnish
Muddle basil, sugar, and jalapeno into a “pesto.” Combine with remaining ingredients. Shake, double strain into glass and top off with a chiffonade of basil.


the lost women

by Lucille Clifton

i need to know their names
those women i would have walked with
jauntily the way men go in groups
swinging their arms, and the ones
those sweating women whom i would have joined
after a hard game to chew the fat
what would we have called each other laughing
joking into our beer? where are my gangs,
my teams, my mislaid sisters?
all the women who could have known me,
where in the world are their names?

Curried and Mashed, Boris Yeltsinned, Pie-Eyed, Kennedied, Boiled as an Owl

The first barbecue of the year is coming up on Sunday, so I thought I’d give some attention to the third most important composite to a good grilling session, the drink. Friends, check; food to be grilled, check; now let’s get to the drinking, shall we? I am a beer nerd.  Belgian is my favorite, I never drink anything that ends with the word “lite,” usually not out of a can (except for you, PBR) , proper glass preferred,  love a true cask-conditioned beer. I can and will judge you based on the beer you are drinking. This may sound a bit harsh, but it hasn’t let me down yet. Getting drunk is a nice side affect to drinking, but taste shouldn’t be an afterthought. While at a bar some bag ordered “something cold, wet, and in a glass”.  I wanted to slap him, then take away his license. I was secretly wishing urine was on the menu that day. But alas. Below are some Belgian, and a couple Belgian-style, beers to try. I started a beerlogue a few years back, which turned into a beer-photologue when I got my digital camera.

In addition to beer, I am a red wine, and gin, girl. I am not a fan of people who order “a glass of white”, or “a glass of red”. We are not four-year-olds. Read a wine list, and join the rest of the adults by asking for what is on the menu. After all, you are not ordering a juice box. Well in a way you are but, it’s a $7 juice box, treat it as such. Usually having a drinky-drink when we go out is special. I won’t drink at a bar that doesn’t know what a “rickey” is. I usually only have 1 or 2, and take time to enjoy them. No slammin’ it back. I miss the days of punch, and the punch bowl with the cups hanging over the sides, and a ladle! I want cocktail hour to come back. With beer prices around $11.00/ six-pack, it is becoming more economical to buy liquor. Jim is a whiskey/ bourbon guy, which makes me shudder, and ditto for him with gin, so I’ll include a drink for you brown liquor people. I am starting to love Brandy though, baby steps.

“I drink no more than a sponge”- Francois Rabelais

“Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.”- Mark Twain

Dark 'n Stormy®

2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer

In a tall glass filled with ice add 2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and top with Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer. Garnish with lemon or lime wedge (optional).

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum’s “Signature Drink”.


From Gosling’

Photo from


Serves 8


4 ozs. Cointreau

4 ozs. brandy

1 qt. red wine

juice of 1 orange

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbls. powdered sugar

club soda


In large glass pitcher mix citrus juices with sugar.

Add brandy and Cointreau, with about 8 ice cubes. Stir well.

Fill pitcher with wine and about a cup of club soda. Stir gently.

Garnish with thin slices of lemon and orange.

from Adventures with Cointreau

Photo from

Singapore Sling


juice of 1/4 lemon

1/4 c dry gin

1/2 c cherry brandy


Shake well and strain into a medium sized glass, and fill with soda water.

Add one lump of ice.

from The Savoy Cocktail Book

Block and Tackle

Butch Cassidy, the notorius holdup man, invented  the “Block and Tackle.” He explained that, if you take one drink and “walk a block, you will tackle anything”.


3 ounces whiskey (no cheap stuff)

one drop of anise extract

3 drops of peppermint extract


Mix. Enjoy.

from The Night 2,000 Men Came to Dinner

Photo from

Savoy Hotel Rickey


1 lump of ice

juice of 1/2 line, or 1/4 lemon

1 glass gin ( I like Tanqueray 10, and Bombay Sapphire)

4 dashes Grenadine


In medium glass mix ingredients, and fill with carbonated water.

Garnish with rind of lime or lemon.

from The Savoy Cocktail Book


1 ounce vodka (no cheap stuff)

1 ounce coffee liquer

3 1/2 ounces fresh cream or milk

Pour over ice in a 10 ounce glass and stir.

Drinking buddies:

1. A muddler.

2. Hendrick’s gin,

3. Coasters.

4. A drink spoon.

5. Drink stirrers. If I had the money and the space this could be a dangerous collection.

6. Drink strainer.

7. Jigger.

8. Glasses you love, and maybe an accessory or two.

Mermaid drinking buddy.

*If you are still looking for an excuse to mix up one of these beauties, May 13th marks the first time the word “cocktail” was used in print (1806).